There is new research that suggests that instant soup burns hurts about 10,000 young children each year.
According to Today, Dr. Courtney Allen’s research shows that instant soup sends at least two out of every 10 children to the emergency room with scald burns and it happens when children handle the food once it is done cooking. It is suggested that the design of instant soups’ cup may be the culprit.
Greenhalgh warns that poor product design may make instant soups particularly dangerous. They often come in flimsy paper or Styrofoam cups that are heated in microwaves, leaving boiling water in potentially unstable containers.
In a 2006 study published in the Journal of Burn Care and Research, Greenhalgh looked at the stability of instant soup containers and found that taller and thinner cups were easier to tip than shorter, stockier ones. Those findings could have implications for manufacturers hoping to reduce the risk of product-related burns.
“What [companies] should do is make them like the Yoplait [yogurt] containers, where they’re wider at the bottom and thinner at the top,” Greenhalgh said. “It would be a very simple thing to design and change.”
Injuries stemming from scald burns are unlikely to have life-long consequences. To prevent these injuries, what parents can do is handle food for their children and let the soup cool prior to consumption. The hope is that the results of the study will change the way packaging is created for instant soup and aid in reduction of scald burn injuries.